Historical Mosques in Istanbul

Historical mosques in Istanbul await you with their unique beauties. Are you planning a trip to Istanbul? We recommend visiting the city’s most famous historical mosques. Symbolic places are reflections of the country’s history and culture!

Historical mosques in Istanbul
Historical Mosques in Istanbul

Istanbul’s historical mosques are among the must-sees during a stay in Turkey. While in Istanbul, you can discover mosques on every corner. Follow our guide to historical mosques to visit in Istanbul, so you don’t miss a thing during your trip to Turkey!

Historical Mosques in Istanbul: Hagia Sophia

Be sure to cross the threshold of Hagia Sophia, one of the historical mosques to visit in Istanbul, in front of the Blue Mosque. This mosque offers an extraordinary panorama overlooking the city.

Hagia Sophia was a Christian basilica before it became a mosque. As the Turks say, Hagia Sophia, the symbol of Istanbul, was built in 530. This masterpiece of Byzantine art passed into the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1453. It has been converted into a mosque, with 4 minarets surrounding its magnificent central dome. It owes its extraordinary architecture to this conversion!

Its pink hue contrasts with the white and gray stones of the Blue Mosque, located directly opposite. The interior is equally impressive, with its vast main hall supported by marble columns. Admire its magnificent mosaics scattered between the first and second floors.

Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)

If you only have time to visit one mosque in Istanbul, you should not miss the Blue Mosque. It’s the city’s most famous and most visited mosque. We recommend planning your visit early in the morning to avoid the tourist crowds.

The Blue Mosque with 6 minarets can be recognized from afar by its domes decorated with oriental motifs. Its central dome is 23 meters in diameter and 43 meters high. It’s a pure architectural marvel!

The main entrance is accessible through the beautiful gardens. Inside, admire the imposing chandeliers hanging from long strings where believers gather to pray on their knees on a large red carpet. More than 20,000 bright blue tiles adorn its domes and tops! A mosque not to be missed.

Suleymaniye Mosque

The majestic Suleymaniye Mosque, built on a high hill, dominates the city with its tiny blue domes and 6 minarets. It offers a magnificent view of the Golden Horn, Bosphorus, and Galata Bridge from the small flower garden at the back.

Inside, several buildings from the hospital to the school, from the Turkish bath to the soup kitchen. Despite its high location, you can easily access this mosque.

Little Hagia Sophia

Although smaller, this converted Byzantine church has the same pink and cream tones as the historical Hagia Sophia. It’s in Fatih district, a few steps from the Blue Mosque, and is separated from the sea by Kennedy street.

Less crowded than Hagia Sophia, it fully deserves its place in the list of the most beautiful mosques to visit in Istanbul. Built in the 6th century, this ancient Greek Orthodox church has a steep nave topped by a 17-meter diameter dome.

The interior is characteristic of mosques, with oriental arches, circles, and motifs. During your visit, don’t miss the opportunity to go upstairs to see the place from a new angle.

New Mosque (Yeni Mosque)

Located in the Eminönü district, near the Spice Bazaar, the Yeni Mosque doesn’t leave photographers indifferent. Its exterior is in the form of a pyramid and has two minarets.

You’ve probably seen it before, as it’s often photographed. It’s the most photographed structure in Istanbul. Yeni Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques to visit in Istanbul.

Its high vaults, stained glass windows, and interior, all in marble and gold, lend it an undeniable charm. Although it’s thought to be a new building from its name, the works started in 1597.

Fatih Mosque

Also known as Fatih Mosque, this mosque is included in our list of the most beautiful mosques to visit in Istanbul. It’s the first of the Ottoman imperial mosques. It was built in his honor after Mehmed’s conquest of Constantinople. Inside, among a decoration inspired by the Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, is the tomb of the famous sultan. 

Rustem Pasha Mosque

A few steps away from the New Mosque, another must-see Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul!

Its facade is covered with beautiful blue Iznik tiles. These also adorn the interior of this mosque with its unique charm. A real little gem to be discovered urgently during your visit to Istanbul’s most beautiful mosques!

Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque

Built-in honor of Vizier Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, this mosque is located near the historical Sultan Ahmet district. It’s built on a steep slope. Colorful Iznik tiles are dazzling inside! It blends harmoniously with marble details.

This mosque is full of details, stained glass, floral motifs, and lines that will attract the attention of art lovers. Careful observers will see fragments of the black stone of Mecca in a golden square on the walls of the mosque.

Ortakoy Mosque

This mosque is close to the Bosphorus. You can see the Bosphorus bridge in the background. Ideal for a souvenir photo!

The Opéra Garnier inspired it in Paris with its two minarets. The interior is sparkling with marble and gilding. A real eye-catcher for visitors!

Most of the mosques in Istanbul are open to the public outside prayer times. Check the timetables before your visit!

Stefanie Jason

Stefanie Jason

Hi, my name Stefanie Jason. I love mountain hiking and explore new places.

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